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Posted · Using HDPE

Hi all.

I am currently working on a project at my job where I am trying to print using HDPE. 

The full-scale version I am trying to mimic is made out of HDPE. However, I have read that the HDPE material is extremely hard to print. Are there any alternatives that have similar leachable properties (i.e., very stable). I am not looking at strength properties, only the chemical properties of the material. Any suggestions of Ultimaker materials (or 3rd party) which is similar in this way to HDPE?

Or is there any good Cura recipe out ther for HDPE printing using Ulitmaker S3?

 

Thanks in advance,

Siggi

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    Posted · Using HDPE

    According to Ultimaker, PP and CPE are "chemically resistant":

    https://support.ultimaker.com/hc/en-us/articles/360011940320-Which-Ultimaker-material-should-I-use-

     

    I'm not sure how similar that is to HDPE.  Maybe you need to be more specific - I seem to remember that HDPE is resistant to acids?  I don't know much about this subject.

     

    CPE is pretty easy to print.  Relatively easy.  I think it's the same thing or similar to other vendors products called "PETG".

     

    PP is hard to get to stick to a glass bed.  Ultimaker used to recommend special plastic embedded paper that you put on the print bed but it usually tears so it's a pain in the neck - you have to remove it all and put on a new sheet almost every print (or print on a new area each time).  They are called "print sheets" or something similar.

     

    But now I think there may be newer methods to get PP to stick (maybe using PEI bed instead of glass?  Maybe using "magigoo PP" (never tried it).

     

    What about printing HPDE directly?  I don't know.  I'd give it a shot.  It's not all that expensive.  Make sure you get 2.85mm diameter.  I've seen people complain that "it doesn't stick to itself well" and "it warps off the bed".  These complaints tell me that they aren't getting good layer adhesion.  So print with the fan OFF and crank up the bed as high as you can go (110C or hotter) and cover the printer enough to get the air in there to around 40C (40C is deemed safe by Ultimaker but don't go any hotter as the stepper motors can overheat).  Also experiment with various glues (hairspray, elmers wood glue and water, etc - google these or watch this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t58-WTxDy-k )

     

    I'd also disable the cooling feature on your S3.  When testing 5 minute prints it really sucks to wait for the bed to cool down to 50C and then heat back up to 110C between every print and every experiment. https://community.ultimaker.com/topic/39188-ultituner-a-tool-to-tweak-your-printer

     

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    • 4 weeks later...
    Posted · Using HDPE

    Hi @Siggir,

     

    You could try to look here for a chemical resistance 101: https://ultimaker.com/learn/chemical-resistant-materials-a-beginners-guide

     

    If you're looking for HDPE, the next best material which is reasonably printable is PP. I'd guess giving that a go might work (although Ultimaker PP is a bit more flexible as its an PP-PE copolymer). If you need something stiffer, you could also look at a Marketplace PP / PE material: https://marketplace.ultimaker.com/app/cura/materials?page=1&polymer_classes=pe,pp,polyolefins.

    Apparently Braskem has a HDPE-like filament with a print profile for the S5 available:
    https://marketplace.ultimaker.com/app/cura/materials/1234567/FL300PE

     

    Hope this helps!

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